While I weed and potter

a jovial thrush keeps up a prolonged dissertation

on a conversational note, with inflexion

reminiscent of a day in France

when a local woman of relatable age

in the queue at the gare, engaged

me in earnest discourse

while I ouied and nodded

and ouied and smiled as you do

and ouied and mirrored her mood

and ouied over a rising urge to burst

into laughter, until her tone

and repetition conveyed

that a reply was expected;

so I confessed in my own tongue

that I was another ignorant foreigner,

tested my je ne comprends pas,

and detached myself as she turned away

in what may have been disgust or pity

or embarrassment.

My thrush makes no demands,

content to have an audience

or so I presume.

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